German students get ready for the exchange

Nineteen German students have applied for the recent exchange with Lotus Valley International School. They all are eager to explore India, to get to know the food, the people and the culture. Furthermore, they are looking forward to hosting a foreign student in their house.

But hosting a guest as well as traveling abroad is not a task to manage easily. That’s why both projects must be prepared accordingly and that’s also why the German students met this week to train for the exchange.

The German students write down their first thoughts on India.

At the beginning of this first meeting, the students played a little game. They had to greet themselves with different greeting rituals from all around the world. These rituals varied from shaking hands, to touching food or to the traditional Maori hongi. Afterwards, the pupils of Johannes-Turmair-Gymnasium talked about the awkwardness they felt during that game. Next the teacher in charge Wolfgang Poeschl explained to them, that this awkwardness can happen when different cultures come together. “What´s quite normal in one culture can be fairly awkward in another.” Therefore, the exchange students always must keep in mind that it is essential to learn about each other’s culture before meeting our friends from India. Only with such a cultural preparation we can avoid misunderstandings and can even show our Indian friend respect.

After that little game the participants agreed to learn some words in Hindi to welcome our new friends properly. And even if the pronunciation wasn’t perfect all the students had a lot of fun.

The one our meeting went on and the children described their expectations towards the exchange. They talked about their fears and about practical preparations like a valid passport.

But the most important topic that was addressed by the students was the profile they have to write about themselves. Only with a good description of their hobbies, their allergies or their diet it is possible to find the matching partner. In the next week, all the German students, therefore, will fill in a “small letter of introduction”. Perhaps they will already get to know the names of their Indian partners when we meet next time.

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